Have you ever planned to do some home repair, maintenance, or project and have one of those whoops when you did something that created more work? It happens all the time, and the huge Big Box home stores make millions of dollars when homeowners make mistakes on one project that triggers another.
The No. 1 reason why one project will lead to another is that the homeowner does the first project in what I call “the blind.” Maybe you started the project and didn’t understand the product used or the full scope of the project? Or you may not have taken the time to fully plan your project.
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Most of the time, though, you’re so focused on doing one project that you forget the damage effects of the pieces and parts associated with the project you’re trying to complete.
In the garden, for example, more sprinklers are broken when people become overzealous with lawnmowers, edgers and trimmers. If you let someone mow your lawn and they don’t understand your sprinkler system, they can destroy a lot of sprinkler heads.
Lawn edges are notorious for breaking plumbing and sprinkler lines and for consuming cable lines. In addition, a landscaper with a heavy shovel can break drip lines, and an inexperienced person with hedges can cut hoses and break bibs.
Inside, the worst offender of extra work is an inexperienced person who tries to hang pictures or decor with a nail and hammer. Driving a nail into a sheet pile is easy, but driving a water or power line can cause a flood of problems or cause other really dangerous problems.
If you drive or drill into a wall, take it easy and be careful not to damage the vital home infrastructure behind the wall. Use caution when hanging curtains as you are likely to drill into a header that could be steel or concrete in Central Florida and that can be challenging and cause huge holes in the drywall.
Amateur painters are another problem on most home projects as their total focus is on smearing paint onto a surface, but not preparing the surface and buying the right paint can lead to a sticky mess. Preparing high gloss surfaces through cleaning and light sanding will work much better if the correct paint is used.
In addition, if the homeowner doesn’t take the time to properly cover floors and tape edges, the floor can be ruined and the paint project will spread to other areas. After a painting mistake, how many times have you heard, “Well, I really need to replace that floor or paint that other wall?”
Many homeowners also think that plumbing is simple and that they will tackle many projects that they have not yet started. For example, a leaking wax ring under a toilet is an easy project for an experienced plumber, but for someone with no experience if you break the toilet or strip a supply line, you will incur major costs.
Replacing a faucet is easy if you have the right tools to properly unhook the pipe and fix drains, but you should have hired a plumber instead of buying these tools that you only use once.
One of the most unsuccessful homeowners’ projects is installing a ceiling fan. Many homeowners think they can install a fan because their neighbor already installs theirs. The problem lies in the correct anchoring of the boxes to a support in the ceiling.
Chances are if you just install a ceiling fan in a regular light box and you don’t anchor the box properly, after spinning for a while, that fan will collapse on the floor and destroy the fan, damaging the wiring and ceiling in the process. It is imperative that boxes be properly anchored to hold a heavy duty ceiling fan that spins continuously.
Unless you have the right tools, know-how, and physical ability to handle any DIY home project, chances are you’ll be doing other unexpected work due to damage. Many times the homeowner would have saved money by hiring a professional rather than following a short YouTube tutorial on installation.
Before embarking on a home project, you need to know what you are doing and how this project may affect the rest of your home. Take the time to think about it is the best advice.
Don Magruder is the CEO of Ro-Mac Lumber & Supply, Inc., and he is also the host of the “Around the House” Show which can be seen on AroundtheHouse.TV.
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